Wednesday, 6 January 2010

How should I feel?

Pleased or sad?
Memorabilia and souvenirs

I have just found that an example of something that I was involved in years and years ago, being auctioned on ebay.

16 mm, no maker's mark, butterfly pin, steel metal

I suppose that I ought to feel rather pleased that our efforts in those years long ago have brought forth a twentieth-century collectible. It is nice that the owner reckons that there is a market out there for such an item, and it will be fun to see whether this faith is upheld over the next week or so.

But at the same it is sad that the owner no longer wants the object. It is intriguing  to wonder why. Death, and the dispersal of unwanted inheritance, the urgent need for extra income to pay for winter heating, disillusion with Conductive Education?

Probably not the third of these anyway, as the badge is being disposed of as part of a job lot of enamel badges.I see that the seller is not having much luck in selling these.

It is rather deflating to see that the opening price for this CE badge is only £0.99 (a penny les than its original nominal rpice over the counter!), and that so far this evocative piece of bric-a-brac has attracted only five views and not a single bid. Maybe this will be one of those auctions that happens all at a rush, in the closing minutes. At then time of writing there are 8 days and 2 hours in which to find out. I have registered for notification of any bids made. Sad.

The unnamed vendor is in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham's most northerly (and poshest) suburb. Who might it be?

View this lot

Conductive Education's memorabilia

I have a whole stash of CE memorabilia collected over the years – badges, T-shirts, various kinds of cards, posters, philately, all sorts of 'junk', not to mention  photographs, autographs, personal mementos, God wots not. Gill had a parallel collection archived in the National Library, and I know that other individuals and institutions have similar accumulations.

Only the Mária Hári Memorial Library in Budapest actually has showcased displays (as far as I know, and I could be very wrong).

All this is of no great importance in itself, but this little item on ebay makes me realise that here is another part of outr fragile heritage to which goes generally unremarked and unrecorded.


  1. I agree (that it is sad).

    The butterfly has now been used for various conditions such as anorexia and deafness.

    (Whoops: the butterfly is referring to the pin).

    Those shoes are good. And they were hand-painted.

  2. Andrew,

    I don't find it sad that there is a Conductive Education red-boots pin on ebay. I think it is quite interesting and has certainly made a few of us think about what else is out there, what other CE souvenirs people have.

    It is sad, although you dismissed the idea, that you even contemplated that the seller is offering the pin because of "disillusion with Conductive Education".

    Even sadder is that you say that the pin "makes me realise that here is another part of our fragile heritage to which goes generally unremarked and unrecorded".

    This is another reason to urge people out there to get writing!

    I don't think it is the items of bric-a-brac that are important in themselves but the web of information that is stored in them. The memories they trigger, the conductive stories that could be told around the memorabilia.

    It would be nice to hear some of these stories. James Forliti has made a start on my blog: